How to Get Your Tax Info Online

The IRS has expanded its on-line account tool. With this tool, taxpayers can obtain up to 18 months of tax payment history, tax balances due, transcripts and other information. . If you have questions regarding the information contained on the transcripts, please call my office at 1888-382-7880 for a free confidential consultation.

Don’t be Scammed IRS WARNS

The IRS will never call taxpayers without prior contact and Demand Immediate Payment. A new scam is linked to the Eletronic Federal Payment System (EFTPS). The scammer calls taxpayers and claims that certified letters were sent to the taxpayer but were returned undeliverable. The scammer then demands immediate payment through a prepaid debit card.  The iRS always sends a bill, before demanding payment.

If you have received a letter from the IRS and are not sure what to do, please call my office at 1888-382-7880.

Innocent Spouse Relief Granted Despite Taxpayer Filing Wrong Form

The taxpayer separated from her husband and then filed a head of household return and claimed a refund.  Prior to the separation the taxpayer had filed joint returns with a balance due. The taxpayer intending to  file an Innocent Spouse form instead mistakingly filed  Form 8379 (Injured Spouse Allocation). Since it was the wrong form the IRS denied the request. Years later, she filed the correct form 8857 (Innocent Spouse). The case went to Court and the taxpayer won. The Court said even though it was the wrong form  it gave the IRS sufficient notice of her claim.

What’s important to take away from this case, is that TAXPAYERS should always file their returns, requests for relief etc, even if they file a wrong form. By filing returns, and IRS forms this preserves your rights. Too many times taxpayers unsure of what to do, then DO NOTHING! Which only leads to further problems.

If you have questions about your tax situation, Don’t be afraid to call for a Free Confidential Consultation 1888-382-7880.

Source: Practictioners Tax Action Bulletin No 2017-12 6/27/17

Prominent Philadelphia Attorney Can Add IRS Indictment to His Wikipedia Page

Husband and wife attorneys, Edward “Ted” Millstein and Susan Halpern from Rittenhouse, PA, were indicted on charges of willfully attempting to evade taxes.

Prosecutors state that Millstein concealed their assets, lied to IRS agents about their income, and put money and property in the names of others to avoid paying taxes.

It’s not the first time the couple has been in trouble for failing to pay taxes.  Both Millstein and Halper were charged for failing to pay taxes in 2010 in the amount of $143,473.35 and in 2011 in the amount of $153,560.69.

The IRS filed liens against the couple; in 2013, a lien was filed by the feds in the amount of $151,459 and the State of PA filed a state tax lien in the amount of $28,715.

If convicted on all charges, Millstein could face a prison sentence of up to seven years, three years’ probation and $450,000 in fines.  The max sentence for Halpern would be two years in jail, one year probation and $200,000 in fines.

Minnesota Man Tries to Convince the IRS “I’m Not Dead Yet”

It took a U.S. Senator, Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota to finally reverse the false declaration that Adam Ronning, 33, was deceased after he tried for 29 years.

The error started when Ronning was 4 years old, and his mother received a letter stating that she could no longer receive child support because somehow the IRS declared her son was deceased.  The IRS blamed the error on a computer glitch but never rectified the situation.

Ronning states, “They’ve never been able to prove that I’m dead.  It’s always me proving that I’m still here.”

After Ronning filed his 2009 tax returns, the IRS gave him only half of his refund because they showed him as deceased.  Ronning continued to file his taxes every year but never received the refund due him and spent hours on the phone with the IRS, on hold, trying to speak to supervisors only to be told it was a problem with the Social Security office.

After finally receiving a letter from the Department of Treasury, Ronning is hoping to receive an estimated amount of $20,000 that the IRS owes him in tax refunds.

A “60 Minutes” investigation found that approximately 9,000 Americans  are erroneously declared dead each year.

Businessman Who Stole Money from NFL Players Gets Sacked by the IRS

A businessman from High Point, NC, Michael Rowan, who provided financial services to professional athletes, including NFL players was sentenced to 65 months in prison for filing a false 2011 tax return and wire fraud.

Rowan would contact prospective NFL players in college offering them financial and wealth management services.  Upon being drafted by the NFL, Rowan would offer his services for an annual fee of $15,000 to $50,000 and have them sign agreements that allowed him access to their bank accounts.

Instead of only making transactions that his clients authorized, Rowan transferred more than $2.9 million into his own personal accounts without the player’s knowledge.  From 2009 to 2013, Rowan failed to report the embezzled funds on his federal tax returns.  This caused a net loss of more than $479,000 to the IRS.

In addition to jail time, Rowan will have one year supervised release and ordered to pay restitution to his victims in the amount of $2,960,295 and $479,352 to the IRS.

IRS Collection Calls Now May be Real

For years the IRS has warned taxpayers about the tax scam calls in which scammers pretend to be from the IRS and threaten the taxpayer with wage garnishment or imprisonment unless they pay that day by getting prepaid cards or depositing cash into bogus bank accounts.

But the IRS made major revisions to the IRS code on “collections” and starting on April 19, 2017, real third party debt collectors can call you to collect taxes owing.

The IRS has awarded contracts to 4 agencies currently:  Conserve, Pioneer, Performant and CBE Group.  This information is public so the scammers might try to impersonate employees of these companies.

Before you receive any calls, the IRS will send you a letter and so will the debt collection agency.  But scammers will also be sending bogus letters.

So how do you protect yourself?  If you receive a call, ask for all of the information you can from the person calling regarding their name, company information and phone number then hang up and do your own research. If the phone number matches the real company then it’s legitimate.  Also keep in mind that the tax collectors cannot threaten jail time, garnish wages or collect payment over the phone.

More than 5,500 people have already been victims of the scams for a loss of over $36 million dollars. If you receive one of these calls call us – WE CAN HELP!

IRS Employee Turned Thief is Indicted

An employee at the IRS office in Atlanta, GA, Stephanie Parker was indicted on charges of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Parker has access to taxpayer’s personal information, including social security numbers and dates of birth.  It’s alleged that between September 2012 and April 2013, she used this information to file fraudulent tax returns for refunds.  Parker had the refunds deposited into a nominee bank account where she would then use the money to purchase money orders.

If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 20 years for each count of wire fraud and 2 years for identity theft, plus restitution and monetary penalties.

‘Soup Nazi’ Tells the IRS, “No Taxes for You!”

Robert Bertrand of NY, CFO of the Soupman, Inc, which holds the licenses to the name and recipes of the “Soup Nazi” made famous by the TV show “Seinfeld”, was indicted on 20 counts of failure to pay Medicare, Social Security, and federal income taxes.

Prosecutors allege that between 2010 and 2014, Bertrand paid his employees cash on the side and did not collect or pay the required withholding taxes. In addition, Bertrand compensated certain employees large stock awards which were never reported to the IRS. The approximate total amount of unreported cash and stock compensation was $2,850,967, which translates to a loss to the US of $593,971. Bertrand’s employees also face a loss of any future social security and Medicare payments.

It’s also alleged that Bertrand received a warning from an external auditor in 2012 that these payments should be reported to the IRS but chose to ignore it. The indictment suggests that he cannot claim ignorance. If convicted, Bertrand could face five years in prison plus monetary fines and restitution. A trial date is pending.


Tax Court Rules TurboTax Not to Blame for Deduction Errors

A ruling handed down by the U.S. Tax Court on May 11, 2017, indicated that the taxpayer in question could not blame their tax preparation software for improper deductions for alimony and interest. Barry Leonard Bulakites could be required to pay the IRS thousands of dollars in penalties and unpaid taxes as a result of errors he made when filing his taxes in 2011 and 2012.

In 2007, Bulakites took out a loan for $500,000 secured by his private residence to pay a judgment against himself and his employer. Unfortunately, the financial crisis of 2008 occurred soon after and created an unfavorable environment for repaying this loan. During this same time period, Bulakites and his wife divorced. Alimony was set at $2,000 per month; however, Bulakites asserted that he increased this amount to $5,000 by making an oral agreement with his ex-wife to that effect.

In 2011, Bulakites used TurboTax to file his income taxes. He attempted to claim over $185,000 in deductions for expenses. Additionally, over the two-year period encompassing 2011 and 2012, Bulakites claimed $130,000 in deductions for alimony paid to his ex-wife. The IRS argued that these deductions could not be substantiated and should be disallowed. Bulakites attempted to blame the TurboTax program, arguing that it had lured him into errors that he might not otherwise have made. The Tax Court did not agree with this argument and found for the IRS on both the penalties and the outstanding taxes owed by Bulakites, who represented himself during these proceedings.

Working with an experienced tax attorney can help you manage your issues with the IRS more effectively. The Law Offices of Daniel M. Silvershein can provide you with the expert representation needed to deal with your situation assertively and to protect your rights when dealing with the IRS. We will work with you to ensure that your deductions are supported by documentation and to provide you with the best options when dealing with tax problem. Call us today at 212-387-7880 to set up your free initial consultation with an expert tax attorney. We look forward to the opportunity to help you protect your assets and resolve your IRS issues quickly.